Imagine a moment; you’re biting into a warm, gooey, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie which is just out of the oven. Don’t you feel like you want to seize that moment? Of course, you do! But, then you pick and bite into another cookie from the same batch, the very next day and all you feel is a hard and crumbly version which is nowhere to what you felt yesterday. Now what? Disappointment!
Baking and biting into these mouth-melting delights is one of the simplest pleasures you can enjoy in life without much effort. But the last thing you want is to witness your fresh batch turning stale. A lot of people are constantly in search of tips and hacks on the same topic. And if you’re too, you just got lucky, because we are going to discuss some amazing tips to keep the homemade cookies fresh and soft for longer. Read on…
But first, why do cookies turn hard?
Baking cookies might be an easy task but it’s an ‘art’ which you can’t really mess up. If you don’t get it right in the first place, it’s bound to turn hard in the end. Like, we know, baking anything requires a careful consideration of the quantities of ingredients you’re using, so make sure not to swindle with the quantity or usage of the mentioned ingredients. Cookies require moisture to keep them chewy and soft which also happens because of the ingredients used to bake them, like egg yolk, butter, sugar, etc. Eventually the moisture tends to vanish in turn making them chewy. (Nothing lasts forever!) This is the main reason for cookies not being soft when you munch on them after a few days.
Tip: The best thing to do is gobble all those cookies ASAP while they’re still fresh and save yourself from the disappointment!
Jokes apart! Let’s dive into the ‘soft cookies hacks 101!’
1. Do not over bake
One of the most common problems with baking a cookie is that we tend to over bake it. A lot of professionals say that if you think that it’s going to take 1-2 minutes more, just take it out because it will tend to cook itself when it’s out of the oven but still on the hot sheet. Over baking on the other hand, may also lead to burning them.
2. Use brown sugar
Brown sugar tends to retain more moisture than the regular sugar. The molasses present in it and its acidic nature causes the cookie to remain soft for a longer time. More moisture = softer cookies = happiness!
3. Timing is important
Some people tend to store the cookies while they are still hot. A big no-no to this! You don’t want to break them into tiny pieces when you try and lift it. Wait till they are just cool enough to be transferred into a container and stored.
4. Stacking it up
The general idea is to stack up cookies on top of one other in order to store them. You can do this! But, make sure to slide in a wax or parchment paper in between and then store it. It will avoid them from sticking them to each other.
5. Zip lock bags or air-tight container?
You need to know that whether you’re storing it in a zip-lock bag or an air-tight container, make sure to lock or close it perfectly. It helps to retain moisture and keeps them fresh.
6. Bread to the rescue
This one’s a tried and tested hack for keeping cookies softer for a long period of time. Take half a bread slice and put it inside the container or bag you’ve put the cookies in. The cookies absorb the bread’s moisture and remain soft. Well, using bread flour in the batter is also a better option to curate perfect cookies.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.